February 22, 2011
DMSA (renal) Report
Last week, Charlie had a DMSA scan (on Valentine's day) to assess the state of his kidneys. His urologist ordered the scan as a follow up to an ultrasound that showed reflux, swelling and irritation due to Charlie's duplicate collecting system. The doctor wanted to take another look before scheduling surgery to remove this extra tissue.
What is a DMSA renal scan?
- A DMSA renal scan is a diagnostic imaging exam that evaluates the function, size, shape and position of the kidneys and detects scarring caused by frequent infections.
- Technetium-99m DSMA (dimercapto succinic acid) is a radioisotope that is injected into your child's veins through an IV prior to the scan. It goes directly to the kidneys.
- A special camera, called a gamma camera, is used to take pictures of the kidneys and show how the kidneys are working.
Charlie met with his urologist yesterday to discuss the results of the scan. The doctor explained that Charlie's kidneys are functioning beautifully and that he has no signs of swelling (as in his previous ultrasound), infection, scaring or damage due to his duplicate collecting system. She concluded that he does NOT need surgery to correct the duplicate system and that he should stop taking his antibiotics (he's been taking since birth), effective immediately. She wants to see him in six months for another check up and then after that, Charlie's pediatrician will conduct a yearly renal exam to watch out for kidney issues. Charlie's urologist said that while infections are still possible, there is no need to do surgery if his system is functioning properly. She went on to say that some babies' systems learn to work around the problem without ever having any urinary tract issues. So, Charlie is checking his renal problems off the list for now. All that remains is Charlie's cranio-facial pre-op appointments, which will culminate in surgery this summer. Of course, the Greenman Family is amazed and elated at this fantastic news. Charlie only has one more week of taking the Phenobarbital and by March 1st, he will be drug free for the first time in his entire life. Hooray!